Ollie Millroy and Team AII collected a fine podium finish in their BMW M6 GT3 at the second round of the Asian Le Mans Series in Fuji a week ago.
With the team switching to BMW until the end of the season, factory driver Phillipp Eng joined Ollie Millroy and Jun-San Chen at the Fuji Speedway. It was a fantastic start for the trio, as they set the fastest lap during the free practice sessions, before concentrating on long-run pace.
The cold track temperatures in qualifying didn’t favour the BMW, but the Taiwan-based squad put in a strong performance to line up fourth on the grid.
Eng took to the start of the four-hour race, however two safety car periods within the first hour gave the Ferraris an opportunity to make use of their reduced fuel consumption, taking two of their three mandatory pit stops without losing too much track position, giving them a 40-second advantage over Team AAI.
The Austrian began to eat away at the advantage, before handing the car over to Chen, who ran at a consistent pace until Millroy jumped in for his stint.
The 26-year-old once again closed in on the leaders and was one of the fastest cars on track before coming in for the final pitstop of the day.
Eng returned to the wheel for the closing stages and clawed back more ground to cross the line third for Millroy and Team AII’s first podium of the season.
“We got off to a great start to the weekend. Phillipp (Eng) is a great asset to the team, he knows the BMW M6 really well, which helped me get up to speed with the car straight away. The cold track temperatures in qualifying didn’t favour us, but we were confident with the pace of the car and I was pleased with where we were heading into the race, Ollie Millroy, said.
“The safety cars didn’t help us and meant we lost time to the Ferraris, but both Phillipp and Jun-San did mega stints to keep us in it. The car felt really quick whilst I was driving – it was quite difficult to know exactly where I was because everyone was on different strategies, but I just kept pushing to give us the best chance of a podium.”
“The result is really great for the team, especially as we are aiming for that 24 Hours of Le Mans entry next year. I’m looking forward to the next round in Buriram – the track should favour the M6 again and I have no doubts that we will be able to challenge at the front.”
The next destination for the team will be Buriram, Thailand (January 8, 2017), where Millroy will be joined once again by Eng and Chen as they strive to secure an entry for the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours.